AGE and HelpAge International urge the EU to commit to the UN action plan on ageing
Joint PRESS RELEASE
Brussels, 1st October 2011
1 October - International Day of Older Persons
AGE and HelpAge International urge the EU
to commit to the UN action plan on ageing
The International Day of Older Persons is the occasion to celebrate the important part played by older people in our societies and reflect on what should be done to effectively promote active and healthy ageing at global and EU level.
The global population is ageing rapidly and the number of people aged 60 or over will triple to reach 2 billion by 2050. Getting old now is no longer what it used to be 50 or even 20 years ago. Along with rising life expectancy, an increasing number of older citizens feel they still have a lot to give and to experience even after they have reached an advanced age. More and more older citizens world-wide are remaining active in employment or unpaid work in later life.
Giving all citizens the means to age in good health and to get actively engaged in society and within their community whatever their age, should be a political priority at all levels.
“2012 will be the European Year 2012 for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations and will also mark the 10th anniversary of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. Both occasions will provide plenty of opportunities to join forces to help achieve an age-friendly society at all levels”, observed Anne-Sophie Parent, Secretary-General of AGE Platform Europe.
The Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing was adopted by the United Nations in April 2002 to address the issue of ageing in the 21st-century in a more global and comprehensive way. This Action Plan, the first governmental agreement linking ageing issues to other frameworks for social and economic development and human rights, focuses on three priority areas: older persons and development, advancing health and well-being into old age, and ensuring enabling and supportive environments.
AGE Platform Europe and HelpAge International together call on the European Union to contribute to the 10th Anniversary of this world-wide action plan on ageing by mainstreaming the EY2012 objectives of promoting active ageing and solidarity between generations across all EU policy areas including EU development programmes and adopting an age-friendly approach in all pertinent EU social and economic policies.
“In developing countries, the critical contribution older people make to economic and social development is often unrecognised. Through our global grassroots campaign, Age Demands Action, we are mobilising support from young and older generations to recognise this valuable contribution. As the world’s biggest aid donor, the EU must champion the rights of older people around the world by actively including them in its development policies and programmes ”, says Richard Blewitt, Chief Executive of HelpAge International.